Nesting boxes

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by Neighbor Guy, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. marsh-mello

    marsh-mello Elite Refuge Member

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    Someone asked how often you check boxes....

    My personal feeling is once you have an established nest I don't check that box until 30 days have passed. I will check any other boxes that do not have an active nest to deal with predation and unwanted visitors about every one to two weeks. All you are doing IMHO if you check them more often is molesting the hen and kicking her off the nest which she needs to be on and potentially having her leave the nest for an indeterminate time. I can't see the benefit in doing that at all just to satisfy your own curiosity.

    To check for a successful nesting finding the egg membranes IMHO is the best way to determine a hatched egg. They are the leathery crumpled membrane that was inside the egg prior to hatching and is left behind along with the egg fragments. Egg fragments alone might have different meanings which includes predation.
     
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  2. bbfky

    bbfky Elite Refuge Member

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    I check my boxes weekly but I’m at my farm every evening. When I see signs of usage I record it and will check it up to 5 days to make sure she is laying and then I leave it alone until after the jump date based on when she is done laying. We have one wood duck that started laying March 12th a few days earlier than last year most will hopefully start in April. I’ve had a mallard hen who is on day 13 of sitting on her eggs that’s the earliest we’ve had a mallard nesting. Hoping for some more wood ducks in the next couple of weeks Our biggest predators are hawks and owls and I haven’t seen then show up much thankfully
     
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  3. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Elite Refuge Member

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    I usually don’t check my boxes until around 4th of July. Then do repairs and installs in February or March.

    I can report that the Woodducks and Hooded Mergansers arrived at the lake here today.
     
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  4. creedsduckman

    creedsduckman Elite Refuge Member

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    I'm starting to get a little disappointed, I haven't seen any signs of a duck checking out my boxes yet despite jumping ducks out the ditch everytime I go back there.
     
  5. Neighbor Guy

    Neighbor Guy Elite Refuge Member

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    Have faith. Could be early yet. I received a look back notification this week that showed duck box install and maintenance being done with 5’ of snow on the lake from 2019. (Might have been the start of this thread?)

    I have 6-pairs of hooded mergansers here at home that are checking things out. I have heard wooducks singing, but have yet to see them. They tend to be a bit more discreet about their real estate transactions than the mergansers.
     
  6. nobands

    nobands Elite Refuge Member

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    I got 2 I can see from my shop. Last year a woody was in the closest, she hatched as I checked that mid summer and found the membrane and shell fragments.
    Haven't seen any in the trees yet this year here.
    When I had them using them regularly, I'd see
    A sparrow hawk has claimed the other this year.
    I dont mind, I've had them in a different house for a couple years and they were entertaining to watch.
    I'd like to check all the ones we have up on the county property in a couple weeks .
    Hell of a walk for a old man anymore .
     
  7. JFG

    JFG Elite Refuge Member

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    Finally got to my place yesterday and wanted to check one box that has not had nesting activity since it’s been up. Well it looks like I have one in the makings. I know 3 of the other 4 had eggs or was down filled 3 weeks ago so I left them alone. I expect all 5 will have eggs when I go back this weekend. 84EAA8AD-BBF1-48B7-8FB7-8CBE4DA63644.jpeg
     
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  8. bbfky

    bbfky Elite Refuge Member

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    Checked the boxes today and one of my new ones is now showing signs of usage so 2 down 3 to go, we are supposed to hit 20 tomorrow night so I don’t blame them for getting a late start. Mallard is on day 20 or 21 of sitting on her eggs her 2 boys hang out all day long waiting on her to leave the duck tube for a short while. The good news is no hawks or owls have been spotted yet. The geese haven’t started sitting yet either maybe they are waiting on some warmer weather
     
  9. bbfky

    bbfky Elite Refuge Member

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    Got 2 nesting and one more laying. Ones prob going to hatch in the next week and a half. Have a bird that keeps building a nest in one of my boxes so I set up a bluebird house 10 yards away and moved the the nest and egg this evening if it isn’t a bluebird then I’ll have to figure out what the next steps will be. Mallards should be hatching in the next few days and the Goose has been setting for several days.
     
  10. pumpgunner

    pumpgunner Elite Refuge Member

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    Got all mine set on Tuesday. Should have hens sitting soon
     

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